While shares of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) have seen some pressure in the past few months, they're still up a nice 27% over the past 12 months -- ahead of the S&P 500's 19% rise over this same timeframe. This market-beating return has come on the heels of robust comparable-store sales growth and continued international expansion.
As we look back at the coffee giant's fiscal 2019, here are six key metrics that help capture the successful year.
1. Global comparable-store sales increased 5%
In fiscal 2019, Starbucks' global comparable-store sales -- or sales at stores open for more than a year -- increased 5% year over year. This performance was driven by a 3% increase in average ticket size and a 1% increase in comparable transactions.
As the year went on, the consumer-goods company notably reversed a trend of several quarters of declining comparable transactions in the United States. In the first half of 2019, U.S. comparable transactions were flat. But U.S. comparable transactions were up 3% in the second half of the year.
2. Comparable-store sales growth in China rose 4%
Importantly, Starbucks saw a resurgence in comparable-store sales growth during fiscal 2019 in China, the company's most important growth market. China's comparable-store sales rose 4% year over year in fiscal 2019, with more pronounced growth of 6% and 5% in fiscal Q3 and fiscal Q4, respectively.
That's good news, because Starbucks has recently ramped up its investment in the key market, accelerating its pace of store development.
3. Starbucks opened more than 600 new stores in China
Net of store closures, Starbucks' opened over 600 stores during fiscal 2019 in China. That puts total stores in the important market above 4,000.
4. Starbucks Rewards members in China reached 10 million
Since revamping its China-based digital rewards program in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, the program has seen significant momentum. By the end of fiscal Q4, Starbucks Rewards in China had 10 million members, up 45% year over year.
The success of this rewards program combined with rapid growth of delivery in the market meant that mobile orders accounted for 10% of sales in China during by the last quarter of the fiscal year.
5. Starbucks returned $12 billion to shareholders
The company continued to follow through with its three-year capital return program, aggressively returning capital to shareholders. The company returned $12 billion to shareholders through repurchases and dividends during fiscal 2019, with the bulk of the amount going to share repurchases. However, Starbucks also managed to increase its dividend by a double-digit rate for the 10th year in a row.
6. Management expects 3% to 4% growth in fiscal 2020 comparable-store sales
With strong traction both in the U.S. and in Starbucks' most important international market, it's no surprise that the company is optimistic about fiscal 2020.
Management guided for global comparable-store sales growth of 3% to 4% during the year. In addition, the company expects to open 2,000 new stores globally. Finally, Starbucks importantly forecast non-GAAP operating income growth of 8% to 10% year over year in fiscal 2020.